§ Mr. Ron Davies
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement on the welfare of animals during transit.709W
§ Mr Maclean
It is most important that people involved in transporting animals plan journeys properly and conduct them with full consideration for the living creatures in their care.
There is comprehensive legislation covering the welfare of animals in transit to, from and within this country. Responsibility for enforcement lies with county and metropolitan local authorities. The Ministry is also prepared to prosecute offenders and this was done successfully over the tragic deaths of beagles being exported to Sweden. Specific statutory controls ensure that all food animals leave these shores rested, fed and watered and inspected for fitness to travel at approved export lairages. Compliance with existing EC directives outside our jurisdiction is of course a matter for other member states. We are currently seeking the best possible welfare safeguards during negotiations on proposals for new Community rules on the protection of animals during transport.